welfare state

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a state in which the welfare of the people in such matters as social security, health and education, housing, and working conditions is the responsibility of the government.
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Origin of welfare state

First recorded in 1940–45
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use welfare state in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for welfare state

welfare state

a system in which the government undertakes the chief responsibility for providing for the social and economic security of its population, usually through unemployment insurance, old-age pensions, and other social-security measures
a social system characterized by such policies
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Cultural definitions for welfare state (1 of 2)

welfare state

A state or government that promotes public welfare through programs of public health, pensions, unemployment compensation, public housing, and the like. The expression welfare state is often used by those hostile to government intervention in these areas.

Cultural definitions for welfare state (2 of 2)

welfare state

An economic system that combines features of capitalism and socialism by retaining private ownership while the government enacts broad programs of social welfare, such as pensions and public housing.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.